Short Takes on High Yields


AT&T had much less trouble in San Francisco last week than it experienced in Broward County, Fla. the week before, although the issue is not closed. San Francisco granted AT&T the right to enter the market via the franchise previously owned by Tele-Communications. TCI was bought last year by AT&T but just recently it has become an issue of competition as to whether cable companies should be made to open their systems similar to what telecom firms faced two years ago (HYR 07/26/99). San Francisco said it will revisit the issue in six months. The week before, Broward County forced AT&T to open its system. If this becomes a trend, it could lower the valuations of cable operators because each customer will essentially be worth less to the company if there are more choices available...

Chesapeake Energy Corp. reported a net income of $8.1 million and EBITDA of $54.9 million. That's an increase in earnings from the year-ago period when the oil concern reported a net loss before extraordinary items of $234.7 million; while EBITDA fell slightly from last year's $55.7 million...

Global Crossing lost no time in its global expansion after settling is two-month struggle with Qwest Communications concerning the recent acquisition of Frontier Corp. Last week, the fledgling fiber-optic company said it received licenses and regulatory approval to finish its Western European network by the end of the year. Its network is planned to eventually link 25 cities in Europe. The deal with Frontier ended a two-month showdown with Qwest in which both companies were vying to buy Frontier and U.S. West...

Much-troubled junk bond issuer Planet Hollywood said it might open sites in Beijing and Shanghai through its arm Planet Hollywood International. The restaurant chain is looking to boost its presence in Asia. The theme restaurant in general has seen tough times recently as repeat visits industry-wide have been slim. Planet Hollywood had to negotiate with lenders earlier this year as it missed a $15 million interest payment...

Competitive local exchange carrier McLeod posted increased revenues of $222.7 million for the quarter ending June 30. That reflects a 23% increase from the first quarter, and a 43% increase over the year-ago period. The issuer's EBITDA showed a record $11.1 million, up from $5.6 million in the second quarter last year. The company also announced growth in total local lines in service to about 554,700.